Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thematic Photographic - Technological

Had an old blog-friend visit today and drop in a comment. Hello Carmi ! Carmi is a technology journalist who combines humour with a huge amount of intelligence in his writing. I've neglected his blog for way too long. And here's a link.

Saying that though, while I've been keeping posting random things here I've not been visiting other people very much lately. I think the blogging fraternity has moved on to things like Twitter and Facebook. They're one way of getting random thoughts out there but they're both a little too constricted in what they allow you to post. (in terms of characters per post) That said, I much prefer Facebook over Twitter, whereas Twitter is a cesspit of idiots, Facebook can be fairly tightly controlled. I only have 61 FB friends (it could be more but a few people declined friend requests) and only they can see what I post.

Wait ... thematic photographic is supposed to have pictures ! Here we go :

Yep - it's the car again ... But ... it's the most technological thing I own so bear with me !

So - what's it got that would make a caveman go URRHHH ? before getting the club out ?

Drive by wire. Every control input talks to a computer. I think even the steering talks to a computer before turning the wheels.
Hybrid powertrain. This is where the technology goes nuts. Throttle and brake go to a computer that divvies up the effort wanted between 2 motor generators and an engine. It's not as advanced as what we've just seen hit the race track in Formula 1 but it has parts of that. And ... the real magic is that, to the uninitiated driver, they can't tell any difference. Hit the throttle, it'll go quick. Hit the brake*, it'll slow down.

*Drive by wire brake is actually one of the criticisms I have - in the CT braking was smooth and progressive, in the IS a lot of the braking effort happens at the top of the pedal. It can make slow speed driving a bit choppy and it can be difficult to smoothly slow to a stop at traffic lights.

A beltless engine ... most engines have lots of belts that keep things like oil going round the engine to lubricate it and water to cool it. In this one, the oil pump and the water pump operate on their own and the alternator is ... something else. I think there is one belt, that'd be the cambelt.

Running at up to 50 (and a bit) mph ... without the engine on. The only time we'd have seen that 10 years ago is if we were playing daft games going down hills. And even then ... no engine in a conventional car means minimal brakes (real bad) and no power steering (manageable but still bad).

Not one but two displays and satnav. Jury's out really between built in and separate satnav. You can easily programme a separate satnav from outside the car. But ... it's less integrated. If I had to pay, I don't think I'd get an inbuilt satnav. But ... the free satnav offer was one reason I jumped to make the change.

Reversing camera - as you can see from the picture, it really helps with parking. (Lol - take a peek at how well/badly I've aligned the car to the parking bay lines!)

Smart entry - there's a radio in the key that tells the car when I'm near. To open it, I grab the door handle, to lock it I put my finger in a little indentation on the handle.

Radio - I think the only transistors in my first car were in the radio and there weren't many in that. I think it had the luxury of a tape deck ... This one has all sorts of options for playing Stuff - cd, usb, bluetooth, FM, MW, DAB, aux ... and I may have missed a few there. No need now for an FM retransmitter to link iPod to car stereo.

I think there's more too but I think my brain is reaching shutdown. There's potential for a run ashore in Bristol tomorrow night but I think I may have to pass after today and yesterday. (Plus I'm still not particularly right - head's better but I'm making way too much acid for comfort).

One more pic before I go :
That is so true for what tends to appear here !

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